Center in the News
  • SHS claims 2nd straight "We the People" state championship - The Sheridan Press
    Sheridan High School Government teacher Tyson Emborg had better be careful or students might start expecting that enrolling in his course automatically means you get to take a trip to Washington, D.C. The “We the People” team of SHS has once again claimed the state championship, and for the second year in a row will send 20 students to D.C. in April for the national competition. “I think it’s been a little bit of time since SHS has gone back-to-back with state championships,” Emborg said. “I’m still tired from last year.” At the state tournament held yesterday in Casper, the team faced questions on topics including religious clauses of the First Amendment, what rights should be expanded or limited in the U.S. Constitution, executive orders and more. Now, heading to nationals, the team will look to deepen their knowledge even more with their eyes on the prize of a national championship.

  • State Competition Makes Historic Documents Relevant to Teens
    Putting their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence to the test, high school students from across the state competed in the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution state competition on January 23 at the Ohio Statehouse. Students participated in the state competition, simulated congressional hearings before a three-judge panel, showing their understanding of American constitutional democracy and the relevance of the historic documents to their lives. “They are making their presentation and responding to questions from adults who are lawyers, who are judges, who are members of the General Assembly and so it’s teaching analytical skills, it’s teaching the ability to talk on your feet and public speaking as well,” Lisa Eschleman, executive director of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) said. This year’s winner, Findlay High School, will represent Ohio in the We the People National Finals to be held April 26-28.

  • 'Powerful' teaching method simulates Congressional hearings
    Laurel High School senior Michael Buster has been thinking critically about the U.S. Constitution for the last few months, and on Tuesday it all paid off. Buster was part of the team of Laurel students who won Montana’s "We the People" competition, a series of simulated Congressional hearings that require students to present opening statements and respond to cross examination from a panel of judges. To prepare, Buster and his fellow students took a class that covered subjects ranging from Constitutional history to contemporary application of Constitutional issues. “It is the most powerful teaching tool that I used in my entire teaching career,” said Richard Hildner, "We the People" state coordinator and a retired teacher. Lt. Gov. Angela McLean, who lead teams of students to the "We the People" competition while she was teaching in Anaconda, said the program was the “single best curriculum” to impact students now and into the future.

  • Wauwatosa West's We The People team advances to the National Finals in Washington, D.C.
    For the eighth year in a row, Wauwatosa West will advance to the We The People National Finals in Washington DC April 24-27. West placed first in the state competition held at Marquette University's Law School Saturday, Jan. 17, which qualified them for nationals. "West has been fortunate and hardworking enough to win (state) all eight years we've had the program. It's a culture. No class wants to be the team that loses the streak," said Chad Mateske, social studies and We The People teacher at West. From there, students research and prepare four-minute statements in response to questions on their unit topic. Questions are provided by the national We The People organization. "These kids honestly know more than most adults," said Mateske, who brought the program to West. "They become the smartest people in the room. I honestly think the program is the best class that we offer at West as far as getting the kids prepared for the real world and college. They learn to think critically.

  • Tahoma ‘We The People’ Win 2015 State Championship - VOICE of the Valley Online News: News
    Advisor Gretchen Wulfing and her team have once again secured the honor of representing Washington State at the National Championship in Washington DC this April. Tahoma was the best of four teams at the State competition in Olympia on January 10. The six-unit team was outstanding, and will represent the Evergreen State with pride. Much like the Seahawks have the 12th Man, Tahoma We the People has Unit 7, comprised of alumni, parents, Tahoma staff and faculty, as well as community volunteers who continue to support the ongoing efforts to learn and compete in this program. And, just as the Seahawks have the Legion of Boom, the WTP team and their supporters unite to form the Legion of Liberty.

  • ‘We the People’ team to practice for state competition Wed. - The Sheridan Press
    The 2015 “We the People” team from Sheridan High School has qualified for the state competition this year. The group won state in 2014 and went on to compete at the national level. This year’s state competition is set for Jan. 26 in Laramie. In order to prepare, the team will conduct a dress rehearsal from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday in the district court courtroom, located on the second floor of the Sheridan County Courthouse. The team will practice answers to any questions thrown their way about the U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions, their history and the documents’ application to present-day situations. For additional information, contact Tyson Emborg at 672-2495 ext. 3228.

  • Civics test requirement for high school students passes N.D. House | Grand Forks Herald
    Legislation that would require North Dakota high school students to pass a civics exam based on the U.S. citizenship test before they can graduate cruised through the House of Representatives on Thursday. House Bill 1087 passed 85-1, with eight members absent. The Senate will now take up the bill. Rep. Mike Schatz, vice chairman of the House Education Committee, which gave the bill a unanimous do-pass recommendation, said the bill will “let our students know that we as a state understand that civics knowledge is just as important as math, English and science." Rep. Gail Mooney, D-Cummings, cast the lone dissenting vote, saying afterward that she knows superintendents who feel that “one more level of testing isn’t really going to accomplish the overall intended goal of civic-minded individuals.”

  • Arizona passes law requiring students to pass civics test - Yahoo News
    Arizona became the first state in the nation on Thursday to enact a law requiring high school students to pass the U.S. citizenship test on civics before graduation, giving a boost to a growing nationwide effort to boost civics education. Both the Arizona House and Senate quickly passed the legislation on just the fourth day of the legislative session, and newly elected Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed it into law Thursday evening. The swift action in Arizona comes as states around the country take up similar measures. Arizona's law requires high school students to correctly answer 60 of 100 questions on the civics portion of the test new citizens must pass. The North Dakota House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the same measure Thursday. Critics question whether the test, which relies on memorization, is the best way to engage students in civics education.

  • Strong constitution -
    The Milford, New Hampshire High School “We the People” team took a motto from the U.S. Post Office as it won the 2015 Constitutional Convention state championship on Friday, Jan. 9 by defeating teams from Nashua and John Stark Regional high schools. “Neither snow nor rain stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” applied to Milford students as they braved harsh road conditions to travel to Concord. Principal Brad Craven, who has consistently attended the competitions, said this year’s team showed an unusual depth of understanding. “I was amazed at the level of conversations they were having with the judges,” the principal said. Superintendent Bob Suprenant also attended and said “the students’ application of difficult material to issues 200 years ago as well as to current events was flawless. I was most impressed with how comfortable they were with such difficult ideals and concepts.”

  • East Grand Rapids 'We the People' team heads to nationals again |
    East Grand Rapids High School's "We the People" team has been named state champions. On Jan. 9, the team of 31 juniors and seniors emerged from a day of competition in Lansing with its 12th state title. The team was led by coach Janice Yates, assistant coach Alex Constantelos, and student coaches from the previous year's team. "We the People" is a simulated congressional hearing in which panels of students are tested on their knowledge of American constitutional government. The team meets as a class and practices outside of school and throughout Christmas break to prepare. The team will be traveling to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national championship this April, at a cost of almost $90,000. Tax-deducible donations can be sent to East Grand Rapids High School c/o We the People, or online at